The owner of Heckington Manor has put forward plans to demolish it claiming it is a magnet for thieves and vandals.
Dr Mostafa Morsy has made the application to North Kesteven District Council, explaining that the property on Cowgate in the village has been on the market for the last 14 years and the intrusions, despite his best efforts to secure it, have led to its deterioration internally and externally.
In January last year Dr Morsy warned that he would be seeking to demolish it as he has struggled to safeguard it from vandals since it closed as an alcohol dependency clinic in 2002.
Attractive leaded windows have been smashed, graffiti scrawled, and pipes and fittings, including a fireplace, have been ripped out. Dr Morsy says it has fallen into such a state it would be too costly for a prospective buyer to repair and its two acre grounds were worth more as building land.
Dr Morsy said copper piping and all the lead from the roof has been stripped off by metal thieves and several propspective buyers, builders and developers withdrew their offers to buy when their enquiries to demolish the manor were met with disapproval.
He said: “The police have been called to the property in excess of 50 times. I feel this represents an abject waste of police time, tax payers’ money and does little more than prolong the fear and teh agony of the constituents of Heckington who are anxious to have the site developed.”
Dr Morsy said in the last year there has been an interested buyer, but they wanted to demolish the manor to proceed.
NKDC’s public safety and empty home officers have inspected the site recently to see the state of the building.
Dr Morsy said: “Heckington Manor is not a listed building, has no architectural significance and is now derelict, beyond repair and not sellable. It is in fact so dilapidated that the ceilings of the top and middle floors are about to collapse due to water damage and so I feel that the building is fast becoming structurally dangerous.”
He said over the years he has spent thousands on maintaining boarding and fences to keep intruders out, but he said there is a determined effort by youths, vandals and thieves to to get in.
He concluded : “I have been victimised and denied the basic right to dispose of my asset, especially at the time of my dire need, and have consequently suffered a great deal of financial loss and hardship that has seriously undermined not only the quality of both mine and my wife’s lives but our basic human rights.”
A manor house has stood on the site since Tudor times, although rebuilt later in Georgian style. It had been an orphanage in the 1950s and an elderly care home in the 1960s until bought by Dr Morsy who invested thousands of pounds for it to become the Ferdowse Clinic in 1978. He told The Standard last year: “I love the building but for the sake of the neighbourhood and safety I want to demolish it to be developed for decent houses.”
The application is currently out for public consultation prior to a decision on its future being made by NKDC planners.
* See a video of the state of the manor taken last year by The Standard. Click here.